White Wedding, one of South Africa's most loved features took approximately 6 months to write, this according to the director/producer Jann Turner.

may-wedding
White Wedding

"From the first treatment to shooting the film was 8 months. So I guess it would be accurate to say that we wrote the script over a period of six months", Turner says."

She described the fusion of experience co-writing with Kenneth Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphemo, as 'Fantastic.' "We had a lot of fun. But we're very old friends and weve worked together a lot so there is a great deal of trust. Trust is key in this kind of collaboration, because you have to be confident that you can get over the pretty hectic arguments that are a part of the collaborative writing process."

The key part of the White Wedding message is according to her not to "trade in messages".

As the writing team, they set out to tell a story that would entertain. In line with this end, there is in the film a theme about prejudice and its unmasking, as people encounter one another, in the way that South Africans still do, pans out 'with a great deal of prejudice ' about whiteness, blackness, englishness, afrikaansness etc." In this case prejudice vanishes when they are forced by circumstance to meet, to get beyond the superficiality of skin or language.

Jann knows that a good script does not necessarily translate into a good film.
"Without a good script you can't make a good film. But poor directing, lighting and performances can make a good script into a bad film." So how much does the White Wedding script contribute towards the success of the film? She explains that it's about 50% of the film.

Explaining the new White Wedding anti-piracy PSA, she wants it to be known that this film has taken a good investment and as such the tragedy of what is happening now is a sad indictment of the local film production sector, "in order to make the film we, as Stepping Stone Pictures, had to borrow R6 million. That's a lot of money in my book! So we have a huge debt to repay. The film has so far grossed R4.75 million at the box office. We'll get about R1.5 million of that. The rest goes to Ster-Kinekor theatres. We'll launch the DVD soon and we might make R2.5 million out of that. If we sell it to TV who knows how much we will make from that. The list goes on," she laments.

According to her, what's great about White Wedding is that it will very likely have recouped R6 million from various South African sales in maybe a year or so.

Meantime the producers are having to carry the burden of a very large debt amid impressions that because the movie is selling well at the box office, the actors and producers are getting rich. "That is not so. And every pirated DVD sold on the street actually makes us even poorer."

Jann wants it known publicly that every single pirated DVD that is sold puts money in the pockets of the pirates. So they are stealing the producers' product and also stealing their film owners audiences the people that would help them to pay back their initial debt. The pirates are impeding the producers' ability to make films by stealing their product and the audiences who want to see their film at theatres. What this means is that everyone who buys a pirated DVD is undermining the makers of the film and their ability to pay back to the investor and thereby discourage future investors from putting money into more films.

She is upright about the PSA: "We don't expect to change the minds of the criminals who do the pirating, but we do hope to change the minds of people who buy the 'fong kongs' and to show them what the impact of their purchase is on the industry and on their own future entertainment. "

She is not sure of the immediate impact of the anti-piracy campaign, preferring to say, it was still early. The PSA is on offer to all broadcasters of TV and radio in South Africa and Africa too. The ads feature Raps and Kenny talking about piracy and if anyone out there would like to broadcast them please do contact them and they will supply a tape or a DVD. You can reach them on jann@iafrica.com or at www.whiteweddingmovie.co.za